Solway Walk – A Last Word

Walking the World


On the Solway, so flat and otherworldly
I walked and remained fixed in space.
The sea, the sand,
the storm
approaching over Glasson Moss
moved past me
as I rotated the Earth with my feet.

Looking closely
and photographing,
I moved slowly.
But on my turn and return to Browhouses
walking faster,
the same thing occured.
The white windmills in the sun
sped towards me.
The earth turned under me
like a ball under a circus dog.

In the Renault it stopped.
Feet no longer on the floor.
The pedals, a, b, c
were depressed, and the car
sped past Metal Bridge and the services,
back to Brampton and my house.

In the house, out of my boots
in slippers
the crockery in the cupboard
rattled and chinked with each step.
I toyed with a short sprint.
The milk in the jug
rocked
like a storm…
in a milk jug.
Teacups were the same.
Tea sloshed over the rim.
Little waves on a bone china shore.

I filled the bath and on walking from the bog
a tsunami formed.
I walked the dog round the block,
and the planet rolled in a raggedy right turn
the size and shape of my neighbourhood,
back to where she started.
I sat still at last to watch the news.
Natural disasters around the world.
Unexplained tectonic movements
unforeseen by experts.

I went to bed.
I awoke.
And it had gone.

I moved.
The Earth did not.

I retuned to the Solway
to seek the spot where it happened,
and in it’s vastness the spot was lost.

But somebody some day
will find it.
And the earth will move again.

Chris Reed

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